California abortion rate falls to lowest level in decades

Published: Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 - 9:47 am

California women today are about half as likely to get an abortion as their peers 20 years ago, according to a study released Monday.

Roughly 23 of every 1,000 California women of child-bearing age had an abortion in 2011, down 5 percent from 2010, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit organization that studies reproductive health. In 1991, about 44 of every 1,000 California women had an abortion.

Investigators cited increased use of birth control and improvements in birth control efficacy for the trend. Birth rates have fallen during the same period. The same trend occurred nationwide.

Abortion is still common in California. About 182,000 abortions were performed here in 2011. The state's abortion rate is about 40 percent higher than the national average. At the current rate, more than one in three California women will have had an abortion by the age of 45.

The Guttmacher Institute contacted every known abortion provider in America for its study. Since the state of California does not publish official abortion statistics, the Guttmacher Study, which is conducted regularly, is considered one of the best indicators of how often abortions occur here. The Institute supports abortion rights; its statistics are often cited by those on both sides of the issue.

Source: Guttmacher Institute

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